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Luke 22:39-46 - Praying in Gethsemane

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, "Pray that you may not come into the time of trial." Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done." Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial."


Verse thirty-nine begins with a capitalized “Kai,” which is not indicated in the translation above. One is able to see how a capitalized “Kai” again works here as a sign of transition, from one phase of importance to another, marking where a division in the text should take place. It also introduces this section as most important to understand the one word that follows it, before a comma mark separates that word from the rest. That word is “exelthōn,” which is the past participle of the word “exerchomai,” meaning “to go or come out of.” The great importance then is placed on the act of Jesus, which says “having gone out.” This is not only an important statement that Jesus left the upper room, going into the streets of the Essene Quarter of Jerusalem; but it is a divine statement that he had “left” the sheepfold and was walking to the place where he would be inspected and then butchered.

The whole of verse thirty-nine can then be shown as literally stating, “Kai having gone out , he journeyed according to prescribed by custom towards this hill of this of Olives ; accompanied now himself kai these disciples .” This literal translation does not match the almost flippant way the NRSV makes it appear that Jesus routinely walked from an area of Jerusalem he is not told to have entered before this Passover Seder dinner event. Thus, it was not “his custom,” but a “ritual” or “rite” that was practiced by all Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover. The custom after the Seder meal, following the fifth cup of wine being poured for Elijah (should he return) and singing psalms, is to keep drinking wine and stay up as long as one can. In order to stay awake and not pass out drunk, walking about would be an exercise that departed from the house of the meal, outside into the open air. With this understood, the capitalized words to follow (and others) need to be grasped.

In New Testament Scripture, whenever walking was done on a Sabbath, the text points out “a Sabbath’s day walk.” The “custom” was not to walk further than half a mile outside the city. That is not indicated here, so that “custom” is not what is intended to be gained from this information. This says the “ritual” was relative to the “rule” that says a whole family must accompany their lamb to the priests who will inspect it for four days. Thus, the “journey” was to a “hill” or “mount” (written in the lower-case), which indicated an inclined travel, which indicates the family will have become greatly attached to the lamb; so, to march it to its certain death is an ‘uphill’ “journey.” The capitalization of “Elaiōn,” saying “of Olives” (in the possessive case), indicates the lamb is an offering for “Peace,” as the produce of a family freely given. Thus when that is (following a semi-colon) then said to be a path walked “accompanied now himself kai these disciples,” the “accompaniment” is soul related [“himself” = “his soul”], so Jesus was one with his “disciples.” Here, it is important to notice the use of “mathētai” (“disciples”), rather than “apostoli” (“apostles”).

Verse forty then literally says, “having been born now on the basis of this of opportunity , he said to themselves , [you] Offer prayer not to enter into temptation .” Here, again, is a much different revelation than the NRSV’s translation provides. After verse thirty-nine is seen to be a statement of Jesus’ soul [“himself”] accompanying the souls of “these disciples,” verse forty’s use of “genomenos” says they had “been born” with the “opportunity” of salvation. Here, it is important to realize that Judas Iscariot had left the upper room, prior to Jesus leaving to the Mount of Olives. So, those who “accompanied himself” were given this “opportunity,” which is why Jesus told them to “Pray” that they do not misuse this “opportunity” as an “experiment,” where they could easily fall prey to worldly “temptations.” The capitalized word “Proseuchesthe” [in the second-person plural] is then a divinely elevated command to talk to Yahweh, each expected to “Pray not to enter into temptation.”

Verse forty-one is then another that begins with a capitalized “Kai,” showing great importance should be found stated in the literal translation: “Kai himself withdrew away from of themselves as it were of a stone throw , kai having placed those knees , he offered prayer .” Here, it is most important to recall how Jesus taught his disciples to pray, when they sought that lesson. Rather than tell them to find a church to stand in and recite prepared prayers from a book, aloud, in unison; he taught them to seek solitude when talking to Yahweh. He told them to address Yahweh as each one’s Father – an individual relationship, not some collective association. So, Jesus was demonstrating to his disciples, with whom he then shared his soul, how solitude could be found only a short distance “away from” others. Again, when “selves” are seen as “souls, “ the “soul” of Jesus (“himself”) was “withdrawn” from those of his disciples, as a “parting” of his soul” in multiple directions, as “his soul” remained “of themselves,” while making it seem all were alone. In the plural number form of “ta,” the easy way to read that is as there are two “knees,” so “ta” is the plural article that says “the knees.” However, the introduction of this segment by the word “kai” says the importance comes from realizing Jesus had “placed those” that were his disciples, as servants that “knelt” before Yahweh, having learned how to pray from His Son. Thus, it was with that comfort that Jesus “offered prayer” to his Father, silently and singularly.

Verse forty-two then is what Jesus prayed, which could only be known by a soul that had become one with the soul of Jesus. Since Luke is the story of Mother Mary (who would have followed Jesus with his disciples to Gethsemane), she did not overhear Jesus praying loudly, against what he had taught about prayer. Jesus said the Father knows your thoughts, before you can say them; so, the knowledge of what Jesus prayed came from having become reborn as Jesus, able to know what he said (and know what he meant when he said anything) after his ascension (after resurrection), when his soul fully returned in his Apostles.

Verse forty-two then literally has Luke writing: “saying , Father , for as much as you are intending , you have removed here this wine cup away from of myself . nevertheless not this desire of myself , on the other hand this of yours it comes into being .” Here, the drinking of four-plus cups of wine during the Seder meal is designed to symbolically place a body of flesh into an altered state, where the soul is told to control the body, by staying awake as long as humanly possible. That becomes proof that a soul without Yahweh’s Spirit married to it (the true Spiritual drunkenness) cannot overcome a drunken state and overcome the body’s natural desire to sleep after a day’s activities. Jesus is now telling Yahweh (his “Father”) – the divine elevation through capitalization – that his soul is still fully in command of his body of flesh, having had the “wine cup removed away from” his hand and mouth. While not in a drunken state test, Jesus still fully accepts the challenge to stay awake as long as possible, due to his “soul’s desire” (“myself”). Jesus then stated the challenge would be “on the other hand this of yours to come,” which is the soul of Jesus returning from the material realm and “comes into being” in the heavenly realm. The ‘Seder challenge’ Jesus recognized is to stay awake in the flesh until his time to be sacrificed had come.

With that prayer spoken to Yahweh the Father, we then read in verse forty-three a response. There is literally written, “Seen by the mind now to himself an angel , invigorating himself .” When one realizes Passion Sunday is near the end of the testing period known as Lent, this has to be read in the same line of thought that has Jesus being tested in the wilderness ending with his needs being met by angels [“angels came kai ministering to himself” – Matthew 4:11c], the same “strengthening” needs were answered by Yahweh the Father, so Jesus would be able to stay awake until death.

This then leads to Luke writing in verse forty-four: “kai having been born within the nervousness of a contest coming , more intently he was offering prayer . kai was born of himself this perspiration of himself as if large drops of blood , coming down upon this earth .” In this are found two uses of the word “kai,” each beginning sentences of two segments of words. Here, again, is use of the word “genomenos,” which is reflecting on the use of the word “ginesthō,” at the end of verse forty-two, with both related to that strength born into Jesus’ soul. Here, Jesus begins feeling the nervousness that is similar to an athlete before a game. Before the game actually begins, he begins to sweat, as if playing the game in his mind. This anticipation made Jesus pray harder. Here, Jesus is sweating profusely, where the symbolism is his sweat being the contest foreseen of a sacrificial lamb, so the sweat drops “like large drops of blood.” This is then symbolic of redemption falling like manna from heaven.

Next, we read that Jesus had said his ‘pre-game’ prayer and gets up. The whole of verse forty-five then says literally, “Kai having come towards those disciples , he discovered sleeping themselves away from of this grief .” The capitalized “Kai” says this is very important, where “coming towards those disciples” was the soul of Jesus giving ‘pumped-up feedback’ to his followers, whose souls shared that of Jesus. Whereas Jesus’ soul had been strengthened and he was prepared to stay awake until death, he found his disciples in a metaphorical state of death – asleep. This is due to the wine and the lack of activity to keep them alert. Instead of Jesus finding his disciples as an external source of strength (to go along with the inner angel his soul received), Jesus found he was on his own. The disciples would be incapable of offering Jesus the external fortitude he was expecting, as he faced death.

Verse forty-six then says literally, “kai he said to themselves , Why are you sleeping ? having raised up you to pray , in order that not you might enter into temptation .” This becomes an important thing Jesus asked the souls of his disciples, through his soul being one with theirs. By asking “Why are you sleeping?” Jesus was asking why their souls had reverted to the death state of an unmarried soul in a body of flesh. It was a spiritual question that asked why their souls clung to the death of their drunken flesh, when Jesus had prayed for them to stay awake with him in his hour of need. Where Matthew wrote, “Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41), he was talking about their flesh being weak, so prayer would keep them awake. Now, Jesus found his disciples had indeed fallen to the temptation of death.

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Mar 28
Rated 2 out of 5 stars.

not what I was looking for but okay

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Thanks for taking the time to look for what you were looking for and drop by here. I feel the enthusiasm of "okay."

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